Elizabeth Olsen says she had 'debilitating' panic attacks while living in NYC at 22 years old

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Olivia Singh
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elizabeth olsen avengers endgame premiere april 2019
Elizabeth Olsen is known for her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
  • Elizabeth Olsen told Glamour UK that she "had major panic attacks for a long time."

  • Olsen said that she had "debilitating" panic attacks while being on her own in NYC at 22 years old.

  • The actress said that she "learned a bunch of brain tricks" to cope.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"WandaVision" star Elizabeth Olsen opened up about experiencing "debilitating" panic attacks as a young adult.

"I had major panic attacks for a long time," the 32-year-old actress said in a digital cover story for Glamour UK's April 2021 issue.

"It was totally debilitating. I was living in New York on my own and I was 22," Olsen added.

Olsen is among many celebrities who have been more vocal about their mental health in recent years. But back then, the "Sorry for Your Loss" star lacked the information to fully understand what she was dealing with.

"I didn't realize it was something that you could not control," she told the publication. "And the issue is the control part. Then I just learned a bunch of brain tricks from friends who actually went to a neuropsychiatrist - and instead of medicating, I decided to do it that way."

Olsen also said she has fewer anxiety attacks nowadays and has learned to focus on "being present in the moment."

Most recently the actress starred on "WandaVision," a Marvel series that explored Wanda's grief while drawing inspiration from iconic American sitcoms.

Olsen told Glamour UK that the show's comedic elements made sense because "it's sometimes too hard to tell a story about mental health without adding levity."

wandavision
Elizabeth Olsen on "WandaVision." Disney Plus

In a previous interview with Variety, the actress also spoke about finally getting the chance to unpack her character's psyche years after she made her MCU debut.

"It was about this story of this young woman who has really had to make her way through so many difficult traumas without having the time to understand them, but really being propelled into making the best with what she had," Olsen said.

Showrunner Jac Schaeffer also told the publication that the stages of grief were a key point in her initial pitch to Marvel on the series.

"It seemed like a very exciting place to start that Wanda is with the audience and is in legitimate denial," she said. "That obviously it's a metaphor for human grief, but it also works for the narrative structure of the show in this crazy, MCU superhero kind of way."

Read the original article on Insider